A drone from AcquahMeyer Drone Tech. Photo by: AcquahMeyer Drone Tech via Facebook

In India, robots search through sewers to identify needed repairs. In Israel, satellite sensors roam the skies to detect drinking water leaks. And in the Republic of Congo, satellites and artificial intelligence track floods in near real time, allowing for swift remedial action.

While the use of robotics, drones, and AI in development may not be new, the water, sanitation, and hygiene — or WASH — space has seen many advances lately, according to Vanessa Speight, a professor of integrated water systems at The University of Sheffield. COVID-19 may have accelerated their implementation.

AcquahMeyer Drone Tech in Ghana previously used drones to spray crops with pesticides. But at the start of the pandemic, it repurposed them to spray disinfectant in open-air markets. In India, Fluid Robotics’ stormwater and sewer assessment robots — usually…

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